You currently have to log into a Facebook account to set up a new Quest VR headset, an unpopular policy that was introduced in 2020, and one which Facebook parent company Meta has said a few times it's going to change. This August, the company is finally going to remove the Facebook account requirement, allowing users to to set up a universal Meta account for use with its VR headsets.
Meta describes this alternate account option as "not a social profile." In a blog post (opens in new tab), the company said that Meta accounts don't include all of the personal info that a Facebook account does, but can be connected to one.
Many Quest owners have expressed concerns over how data from the headset could be used in conjunction with Facebook—or just don't want a Facebook account at all—and the social network has steadily lost relevance against social media platforms like TikTok. Meta's willingness to ditch the Facebook requirement here might be taken as an acknowledgement that the platform's days of ubiquity are over, even if it's still requiring user accounts.
The second step after you've created a Meta account is to make a Meta Horizon profile. Meta Horizon profiles replace the old Oculus profiles and let you customize a username and avatar that will appear publicly. Like Instagram, users can only follow each other instead of adding each other as friends. Meta clearly isn't done being a social networking company: It may have accepted that Facebook isn't the future, but still wants to make 'the metaverse' (opens in new tab) a thing, not just VR headsets.
Still, this is somewhat good news for Quest headset owners who'd prefer not to be members of Facebook. Meta promised this change last October after a massive Facebook outage (opens in new tab) made the VR headset completely unusable.
Although replacing one account with another isn't exactly a win for anyone trying to disconnect themselves from one of the biggest corporations on the planet, it will hopefully make using one of our favorite VR headsets (opens in new tab) a little less complicated.